Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rogers predicts ratings spike

Much-hyped Jays would be big TV draw

  • Print

TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays could draw twice as many TV viewers as last season if they play to their potential, Rogers Media (TSX:RCI.B) president Keith Pelley predicted Wednesday.

Last year's home opener drew a season-high 1.27 million TV viewers while the team attracted an average of 507,000 over the course of the year, up seven per cent from the previous campaign.

Of course, there's more hype around the team this year following an extensive off-season makeover.

Rogers gave general manager Alex Anthopoulos the green light to bring in some high-priced talent -- including star knuckleballer R.A. Dickey as well as Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle -- and now the Jays' owners want to cash in on their investment.

"When we looked at (the payroll boost) we said, 'This will do a tremendous amount for Rogers, the Blue Jays are ready to pop in terms of not only on the field, but as far as being a fashionable brand now in Toronto," said Pelley.

Potential

If the Jays do contend and make the playoffs for the first time since the back-to-back World Series wins in 1992 and 1993, the revenue potential from TV ads, tickets and merchandise sales would be through the roof.

"So the Blue Jays decision to add money and payroll was not in isolation, it was done in a decision that, if we can play meaningful games in September, what that will do to Sportsnet," Pelley said.

"Those numbers of 507,000 would creep up to in the neighbourhood of a million viewers."

While Tuesday's home opener against the Cleveland Indians was a quick sellout, and fans are eager to tune in to see their revamped team for the first time, Pelley says he hasn't been too concerned about what kind of ratings the game might draw.

"I have not thought about that, I haven't thought about it once until you've asked me the question," said Pelley.

"Do I think we will exceed (last year's opening night ratings)? I think we will exceed that, but I think it's not an important number. I think what's important is the overall average and how the team performs, and if the team performs, then the Blue Jays numbers will be significantly (strong) on Sportsnet."

Some fans will be disappointed that Rogers is again shifting some Blue Jays broadcasts to Sportsnet One, a channel that's typically bundled into the pricier TV packages.

As of now, this season's Blue Jays games will only be available to stream on the web and mobile devices by Rogers TV customers.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 28, 2013 D6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Étienne Gaboury: Manitoba "shining light" of architecture

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How many goals do you think Evander Kane will score this year?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google